Dalit Collective organized Land Rights Agitation
“ Land is the status of Dalits, Land is the Social Security of Dalits, Land is the Liberation of Dalits” with this concern, “ Dalit Collective Tamilnadu & Puducherry” and “ Rural Women Self – Reliant Movement – Chetpet ” organized an agitation on 18th August 2008 at Tiruvannamalai Collectorate on the demand of “ Dalit Land Rights”. Posters were displayed all over the city and the banners were displayed on the agitation.
Women and men were starting gathered from 8.00 clocks in the morning by vans and mini buses to Tiruvannmalai and assembled in a large number in the gate of Collector Office. Dalit activists, Dalit Panchayat Leaders, Dalit Ward Councilors and some State and Central Government employees also participating in the agitation with very appealing.
Mrs. Lourdu Mary, President RWSRM, presided over the agitation in the presence of Mrs. Annanapoorani, Mrs. Shanthi, Mrs. Kasthuri, Mr. K. Balan, Mr. Rajendran, Mr. T. Pandian, Miss. Sumathi, Miss. Valli, Miss. Mary (all are Rural Women Self- Reliant Movement leaders). Mrs. Kasturi, the movement organizer welcomed the gathering.
Mr. M. Manavalan, Member of Dalit Collective facilitated the inaugural address and he explained the agitations objectives and the present situation of Dalit land rights. Mr. M. Ari, Founder of Ambedkar Makkal Kazhagam, Mr. V. Durairaj, President Ambedkar Revolutionary Front and Mr. Sudaroli Sundaram President of Tribal Federation, Mrs. Punitha from ADECOM Network, Miss. Amuthamozhi, from SVED Cuddalore, and representatives from DALM and RWEDS also spoke on the agitation.
More than 500 women and men participated in the agitation enthusiastically raised strong slogans to defend the land rights and Dalit human Rights. Though the Government officials not permitted to conduct the agitation in the front of Collector Office Gate, the women forcibly enter in to the gate and sitting for a dharna for a moment. Then only the police permitted to conduct the agitation.
The spoke persons gave an aggressive speech about the panchami land and the roles and responsibilities of the Government. They also insisted their desire that all the dalit movement and like minded peoples come forward to work on this agenda in one umbrella. They also suggested conducting a state level meeting to coordinate to conduct a mass level conference and a direct action that is entering the land with a mass. They also urged the State and Central Government to provide:
· Land deed in the name of women landless agricultural laborers
· 5 acre land to dalit women and housing patta in the name of dalit women
· Redeem the panchami land which is enjoyable by the upper caste people and to distribute the same to dalits
· Share in the income of Temple land and common resources
· Implement special economic programmes for dalits
· Allocation of funds to the welfare and development programmes on the basis of Dalit population
· Identify waste land and distribute to the dalit landless families
· Provide Housing Pattas to the home less dalits
· Stop migration of Dalits searching for employments to urban area
· Effective implementation of SC/ST atrocities act 1989